Yes, feet are essential and my feet are essential to me.
I walk a fair amount, usually between 15 and 22,000 steps a day, but I didn’t always.
When I was younger, I used to cycle a lot, but then stopped when I started work and got a car. For quite a few years I did little exercise, especially when I started working from home. I remember one wintry day in the 1990s when I opened the front door to go out to post a letter, but the wind almost blew me back in and I decided to go another day. As I started to use the internet and email more for work, sometimes I had little reason to go out for two or three days at a stretch. I was slowly putting on weight and starting to bulge a little.
Then, in 2000, we got a dog. A puppy. A spaniel. A little darling. I’ll write about him in another post.
One of the reasons for getting a dog was to get me on my feet and out of the house. Another reason was to have fun. We accomplished both.
From being a stay-at-home stick-in-the mud I turned into an all-weather-outdoor stick-in-the-mud, usually in the middle of a muddy field in the rain. I loved it and still do.
I walk in the dark, in the light, in the dry, the snow, the rain, in howling gales and on beautifully clear, calm days, paddling in the sea.
I play ball with our dog – now our third after losing our first two five years ago – and sometimes we both toddle along, letting our minds wander or admiring plants and trees, views or anything that takes our interest.
Walking is what I enjoy most now, thanks to my feet.
I have come to realise how essential they are after various conversations with many lovely people, some of them now passed on. When they told me stories of their past adventures of walking, touring and sailing, their feet could no longer carry them up a hill and sometimes we had to help them back on to their feet if they took a tumble. Their feet had served them well, but there comes a time for us all when we have walked as far as we can and we have to put our feet up once and for all.
So I make sure I look after my feet as well as I can because I realise how important they are to me. I walk as much as I can while I am fit because one day I will walk no more and then I’ll tell stories of where my feet have taken me.
• I mistakenly posted My life’s essentials 14 after 11, so I’m catching up with this post.